“I sure hope that love will hammer on my heartstrings the same way that music has” (Jan 3, 2016) – Reflection piece

“I sure hope that love will hammer on my heartstrings the same way that music has”
(Jan 3, 2016)

Written by Erica Andreozzi
“Falling in love” implies a humble weakness – it implies exposing yourself fully, letting down your guard, and throwing your inhibitions to the wind. Earnest Hemingway once said that a person’s “virtue” is also “what makes them more vulnerable” and “they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” Vulnerability is what enables us to experience the deepest form of human connection, and if we choose to resist it, we also resist connection. Human connection is one that I experience often, not with a lover per se, but with fellow music junkies who are addicted to music in the same way that I am. I say “junkie” because music is a drug, and I am an addict. Just like love, music moves us in ways we never imagined, in ways that seem impossible to describe – music makes us feel giddy, enlightened, fulfilled, and victorious. Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without; it makes us stomp our feet, clap our hands, move our bodies, and sing out to another world – another world where time stands still and nothing else matters but the exuberant euphoria putting pep in our step and fire into our bellies. Music paralyzes before it invigorates, and one often leaves a concert feeling reborn, resurrected, and alive – FULLY ALIVE. Just like love, music can be a vessel that carries people through hardship; it can also be the medicine that numbs their pain and heals their wounds. Music reaches deep-seated networks in our brain, forming memories that last a lifetime and prevail against dementia. But music’s a funny thing because, in the words of William McCarthy (Augustine’s frontman), “you can’t fucking own it. It doesn’t exist. You can’t hold onto it… It’s a moment, it’s a feeling.” That’s one of the reasons I find music so fascinating. Just like love, music is a feeling – an emotion powered by raw instinct and unexplained attraction. As a scientist, I have been trained to use equations and formulas to study uncertainty and solve scientific mysteries. Music, however, is one puzzle that I don’t ever want to piece together. The yin to my science yang, music provides an outlet that frees my mind from chains of reason and logic. Unlike science, there are no “formulas” for creating the “perfect song” – while there are endless combinations of keys, chords, and rhythms, none of them are “right” or “wrong.” The same goes for love. With an endless variety of people to mingle with, we can’t seem to explain why one person may strike a chord in us while others don’t. Both music and love are formless phenomena that can only be measured by the heightened sensation they elicit. Some songs will resonate more with us during particular chapters of our lives, just like people, but we are lucky if we are able to find ones that resonate with us forever. As with karma, I truly believe that music and love come into our lives at particular times for a reason, a reason that we must open up our hearts to find out. But love, just like music, is both complex and complicated – it beats with a captivating, capricious cadence defined by notes that crescendo and de-crescendo without warning. It can take us to our highest highs, but also to our lowest lows. Yet, it’s what we truly STAY LIVE FOR. I sure hope that love will hammer on my heartstrings the same way that music has. Until then, the beat goes on… ❤

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